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Haematuria / Blood in the Urine

What is haematuria?

Haematuria is the presence of blood in the urine.

Blood that you can see in the urine is called macroscopic haematuria, the urine may appear pink, red, or cola coloured. It takes very little red blood cells in the urine to produce red urine. Urinary blood that’s visible only under a microscope is known as microscopic haematuria and is found when your doctor tests your urine. Either way, it’s important to determine the reason for the bleeding.

What are the causes of haematuria?

Causes of blood in the urine includes:

  • Urine tract infection
  • Kidney infection
  • Kidney stones
  • Bladder stones
  • Enlarged prostate (BPH)
  • Cancers of the bladder, prostate or kidneys
  • Trauma to the kidneys or bladder
  • Kidney diseases – Microscopic urinary bleeding is a common symptom of glomerulonephritis, which causes inflammation of the kidneys’ filtering system.
  • Medications – medications that thin the blood can sometimes cause blood in the urine, but there may also be another condition that caused bleeding
  • Strenuous exercises

What are the tests required to find out the cause of haematuria?

Your doctor may organise further tests to work out the cause of blood in the urine. These include:

Urine tests: the morphology of red cells in the urine can be examined under the microscopic to determine if the red cells are filtered through the glomerulus or caused by bleeding from the urinary tract. Urine testing can also check for urine infections or the presence of cancer cells in the urine.

Imaging tests: Your doctor might recommend a computerized tomography (CT) scan, which uses radiation and a powerful computer to create cross-sectional images of the inside of the body; or an ultrasound exam. Ultrasound uses a combination of high-frequency sound waves and computer processing to produce images of your kidneys and bladder.

Cystoscopy: a narrow tube fitted with a tiny camera is inserted into the bladder to closely examine both the bladder and the urinary tract for signs of disease

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